It really *is* all about the packaging. Shortly after I started CBT, I wanted to stand out from the crowd a little bit. Create a little bit of excitement when our packages arrived.
What better way than in the packaging?
Normally we have our famous Owl tissue paper, but our supplier was out of it when I went to pick up my supplies this past Saturday. I brought a friend along who is creating goody bags for an event, so we decided on colourful tissue paper, of which I gave her a few set of to get her started - it was a BIG batch of tissue paper! But no worries, I'll be popping back to my suppliers'
I picked up my boxes though...and stamped all 80 of them this morning! They might last me a few months (more likely not at the rate we're going!). I find the stamps make us stand out, and get customers excited when our orders arrive. I also enjoy being able to provide a personal touch to every order (aside from the toys I create!)
I picked up this cute Feather Stamp from an Etsy seller - I'm all about supporting other Small Business owners, and this was the perfect stamp to add to my growing collection
I also found a cute set of mini Owl & little bird themed stamps while picking up some supplies from the UPS in Ogdensburg, New York.
It is a bit of a project, but after doing this for a few years, I just get into the stamping zone, and get them all done at once. It's much easier for me to do big batches vs only a few.
We won't go into how in the beginning I hand stamped Every. Single. Business Card/tag. Thankfully Husband was kind enough to buy me business cards the first Christmas after I started CBT. I could NOT keep up with stamping
That's all for today for a bit more insight into the workings of Crystal's Bird Toys.
I was lucky enough to have met my bird friend, Liz (aka supreme Parrotlet & Lovebird breeder) back in the Winter of 2010 when she took an interest in my toys. She was going to a bird club show in Manotick at Watson's Mill in September, and suggested that I set up a stand to sell my wares (aka unique bird toys).
I had a week to make a big blue Rubbermaid container full of toys.
Aside from my 10 hour day commuting to work, working my Superman job by day, and commuting from work, I slept, ate, and breathed toys for that week. Really - this is any toy maker's dream come true. But I had no idea what to expect.
I met some great people, had people come up to me and ask if I was that person who posted my bird toys on some local websites & that they look forward to seeing my new toys on a regular basis, and even made some sales.
The president of a club hosting another show three weeks later (aka my first wedding anniversary weekend) suggested I set up a table with them for the whole weekend. Oh God - my fingers have never been so tired from tying knots, colouring wood, stringing beads, and making business cards. Thank goodness for Husband. He cut wood, drilled wood, sanded wood, and even helping with some bead stringing. He made the fantastic stand that displayed the toys, and for my birthday, he's getting me professional business cards made up. Woot! No more hand cutting (as much as I find scrapbooking enjoyable, using my cutter to cut 200 business cards, hand stamping and hole punching each one...a little much)!
All in all, the Ottawa Bird Fanciers' Society Club was a good experience, got me networking in person, made us some new clients, and I even made a few repeat sales from the previous show.
I sold a Large Shreddies toy to a girl with a rabbit - she thought the toy was awesome and that her bunny would love the toy. Just another idea for me to potter about.
I would love to go to the Parrot Symposium in Guelph this year and set up a table there, but I want to get my name out a bit more, and have some preparation time (more than 3 weeks!) in order to have enough toys to share with my parrot enthusiasts. 2011 here I come!
So I have a few weeks to lull and relax before my ad goes out in Bird Talk Magazine, and the following month, Birds USA.